To read this content please select one of the options below:

The “PERSPECS” principles: early action and migrant children with no recourse to public funds

Andrew Jolly (School of Health Professions, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK and Institute for Community Research and Development, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK)

Journal of Children's Services

ISSN: 1746-6660

Article publication date: 2 June 2023

Issue publication date: 7 June 2023




This paper aims to make the case for early action approaches with migrant families, introducing a set of principles for practice, mapped against the Professional Capabilities Framework for social work and the Social Work England professional standards.


The paper first explores the context of social work with migrant families, outlining the challenges and gaps in our conceptual understanding of this work. The paper then introduces a conceptual model of work with migrant families which draws on the literature from social work and allied professions, and informed by social work values and ethics.


Current social work practice with migrant children has been criticised as defensive, procedural and lacking a coherent conceptual basis, particularly for those who are subject to the no recourse to public funds (NRPF) rule. This field of social work practice would benefit from an evidence-informed model of practice, anchored in human rights approaches and focused on early action. Eight principles, drawn from existing good practice in other social work and social care contexts, are outlined as the basis for a new model of practice in social work with migrant families.


The NRPF rule is a provision in the immigration rules that prevents people who are subject to immigration control from claiming most social security benefits in the UK. In recent years, there has been an increased interest in research about the NRPF rule and its negative impact on children. However, there is currently no evaluated model of social work practice for children and families with NRPF.



The NOREAM pilot programme was funded by the What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care. The What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care had no input into the development, writing or editing of this paper.


Jolly, A. (2023), "The “PERSPECS” principles: early action and migrant children with no recourse to public funds", Journal of Children's Services, Vol. 18 No. 2, pp. 147-163.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles